APOLLO's Run Highlights

APOLLO runs are at present scheduled in consolidated chunks, so that members of the collaboration can be present at the observatory for the run. Ultimately, APOLLO telescope time will be scheduled in short (1 hour or less) blocks throughout the month for optimal sampling of the lunar orbit. The highlights below pertain to the once-monthly, few-day visits to the observatory. Each time, we set new records and become more efficient at getting outstanding laser returns from the moon.

APOLLO started getting "sky time" in July 2005—a combination of engineering time and director's discretionary time. Snippets of time in July, August, and September allowed us to hone our technique and develop the software resources we needed to be successful on our first "real" run in October, when we first installed the signal-boosting microlens array. The run summary picks up here.

October, 2005

November, 2005

December, 2005

Example run from December, 2005. The lunar return signal is strikingly strong amidst the noise. The bursty nature is due in part to manipulations of pointing as we try to optimize the signal—sometimes we steer completely off of it for a bit.

January, 2006

February, 2006

March, 2006

April, 2006

May, 2006

June, 2006

Let the campaign begin...

Starting in the Fall of 2006, APOLLO time is scheduled to occur more frequently as we begin the science campaign in earnest.

Status updates now appear in tabular format for each lunar month.

A running summary of APOLLO milestones appears below:

APOLLO Main Page